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Each semester I have the privilege of reading every student report before they go home. As the Principal, this is a really valuable exercise as a way of furthering my knowledge of each student and their progress over the semester. There is no doubt the past semester has been one of the toughest we have ever experienced in terms of hardships and challenges faced by our students. COVID-19 resulted in all our students engaging in At-Home learning for an extended period of time. Add to that the stress of the unknown, changes in routine and having limited time with friends and extended family, and there is little doubt all our students have had a challenging six months.
As I read each report, what really struck me was the overall pleasing levels of achievement and application indicated. Whilst I always try to keep a close eye on the progress of our students, it isn’t until teachers complete progress reports that we see how the broader student body is achieving as a whole. As such, there are two main takeaways I come away with.
- Our students are learning to adapt and increasing in their levels of resilience through circumstance. Speaking in generalities, students on the whole have shown their ability to adapt to new learning conditions in an extremely pleasing manner. There were plenty of unknowns heading into At-Home learning, however the commitment of you, the families, and the students has resulted in PCS students growing not only academically, but also in key characteristics such as flexibility and resilience. I know that At-Home learning wasn’t always perfect and without frustration, however, the opportunity to grow in these areas will surely help our students as they get older. In this 21st Century workforce, employees are increasingly required to demonstrate such skills, so let’s not miss the opportunity to celebrate where our students have grown and stretched in such valuable areas.
- Quality education is about developing the whole child. As I read the teacher comments I was reminded again of just how unique each individual student is. Each student has their own interests and personality traits. Each student learns at different rates and has different needs. First and foremost, PCS is here to teach student outcomes and teach them well. Beyond that, we are here to provide an environment and opportunities where each student can grow in key areas outside of academic achievement. We don’t measure overall success based on grades. We measure success by our ability to teach, equip, challenge, motivate and prepare each student for life beyond the classroom through a well-rounded education. As the Principal of PCS, I thoroughly enjoy any opportunity to learn more about our students beyond what grades they achieve. Grades will only get you so far, strength of character can take you all sorts of places! Let’s all not lose sight of this.
Congratulations to all our students who have worked so hard during the past semester. Thank you to all our families and teachers who have actively supported this learning. Let’s buckle up for a big Semester 2 and help each one move forward in all areas of their schooling. They are the reason we are here!
Have a great week everyone.